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Help: breakage in vintage Conmar zip

Raul

One of the Regulars
Messages
104
Location
Italy
Today when I was trying to zip up my 50s Grais jacket the main zipper began to break at the beginning, the solid part at the extremity is detaching from the fabric (or better the fabric is fraying). I know it's nearly impossible but anyone knows a way to fix it? A glue? Classic superglue (cyanoacrilate) usually doesn't work for fabric. I know the solution would be to replace the zipper but finding a vintage 21" brass Conmar is not an easy task...
Any advice is welcome

zIRX51U.jpg
 

Will Zach

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,093
Location
Northeast USA
I think this is done. Try to find a period Talon - I recently found a 19.75" #10 Talon for $34. They may be easier to find than Conmars, but some think that Conmars are better. I just went with Talon to replace the replacement YKK I found on a vintage jacket.
 

Raul

One of the Regulars
Messages
104
Location
Italy
I tried to fix it following Leather Walker procedure from the other thread, I removed the pin and sew a few stitches on the fraying part without putting new cloth on it, that would have been too thick and it wasn't necessary anyway. Then I put some superglue on the fixed part that made the fabric stiff like plastic and there is no trace of the fix. The problem was when I put again the pin on it, unfortunately I didn't take a pic before so I probably put it in a wrong position and it didn't work well, the fabric was a bit too thick to go inside the slider, so I smoothed it a bit with some fine sandapaper and I was able to put it into the slider and with some difficultyI was able to zip it up, it worked but after a couple of times it began to go up misplaced opening instead of closing the zipper, probably the wrong positioned pin prevented the correct start of the closing. So I removed the pin again but now I don't know how to put it again correctly as I don't remember if it was touching the first teeth or not and there is another issue, maybe most important, that now the fabric seems a bit too large and if now I put the pin over it it will be in line with the teeth while usually it stays lower than the teeth, maybe it "enlarged" when I put the glue and pressed it to avoid it becoming too thick, so maybe I have to cut out some of the fabric but if I do this and it doesn't work there is no way back. Here are two pics of the fabric as is now, any idea or hint is welcome.
R7H5rbu.jpg
luKqXOp.jpg
 
Messages
15,677
Just got an idea... Why not try to sculpt it into a pin now? Like, add a ton of superglue and shape it like a pin. That stuff's pretty rough, maybe it'll hold? Don't see why it shouldn't work the same as plastic pins.
 

Boyo

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,123
Location
Long Island NY
The zipper is done..Id send it to a reputable leather repair shop for replacement. ( Greatleather.com in U.S. for one) I'm sure you could re-use the original zipper pull so that you'd barely notice.
 

Carlos840

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,847
Location
London
I tried to fix it following Leather Walker procedure from the other thread, I removed the pin and sew a few stitches on the fraying part without putting new cloth on it, that would have been too thick and it wasn't necessary anyway. Then I put some superglue on the fixed part that made the fabric stiff like plastic and there is no trace of the fix. The problem was when I put again the pin on it, unfortunately I didn't take a pic before so I probably put it in a wrong position and it didn't work well, the fabric was a bit too thick to go inside the slider, so I smoothed it a bit with some fine sandapaper and I was able to put it into the slider and with some difficultyI was able to zip it up, it worked but after a couple of times it began to go up misplaced opening instead of closing the zipper, probably the wrong positioned pin prevented the correct start of the closing. So I removed the pin again but now I don't know how to put it again correctly as I don't remember if it was touching the first teeth or not and there is another issue, maybe most important, that now the fabric seems a bit too large and if now I put the pin over it it will be in line with the teeth while usually it stays lower than the teeth, maybe it "enlarged" when I put the glue and pressed it to avoid it becoming too thick, so maybe I have to cut out some of the fabric but if I do this and it doesn't work there is no way back. Here are two pics of the fabric as is now, any idea or hint is welcome.
R7H5rbu.jpg
luKqXOp.jpg

The first picture you posted clearly shows the pin was not touching the first tooth. There should be a gap similar to the gap between two teeth in between the pin and the first tooth.
 

Raul

One of the Regulars
Messages
104
Location
Italy
The first picture you posted clearly shows the pin was not touching the first tooth. There should be a gap similar to the gap between two teeth in between the pin and the first tooth.

Yes, and once in position it seems it should be also a bit lower (in profile) than the teeth, am I correct?
 

Carlos840

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,847
Location
London
Yes, and once in position it seems it should be also a bit lower (in profile) than the teeth, am I correct?

I'm no zipper expert but i would say yes, i think usually the pin is not level with the teeth but a bit lower.
 

Leather Walker

A-List Customer
Messages
386
Location
Barcelona
Raul, I've just read the thread. Luckly, if you enlarged the repaired part you could cut a little, but I wouldn't do it, cause if you get the pin on its actual position (the same gap as teeth), the retaining box will shorten the "excess" of fabric (in this case, millimetres) when you zip up/down the slider.
Ah, in order to zip up easier the slider thru the repaired fabric, just zip as normal but stop this on the fixed part. Do it several times and the fabric will take the width of the slider inner space.
 
Last edited:

Leather Walker

A-List Customer
Messages
386
Location
Barcelona
I get mad every time I see this problem and the main solution is replacing the whole zipper. Why? This is a frayed fabric issue, not quantum aeronautic problems. It's not the easiest problem to fix -I know-, but we're talking, deep down, about needle and thread. When I fixed mine, I tried to replicate the plastic part that prevents fraying, so I mixed the frayed with nail lacquer. I used superglue, I tried to stitch a piece of tape... but when I realized that the best thing was stiffed the repaired part, I opted for the nail lacquer.
I got my 1st vtg jacket with this fucking problem, I couldn't zip up it and I was very frustrated. I wrote to many professionals and the answer was always the same: replacement. I refused to change the vintage zipper, making new holes on the hide and wasting money for a solution which implies a bit of time and zero cost.
 

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